updated 2/9/2006 8:11:39 PM ET 2006-02-10T01:11:39

A man married his bride in a courtroom immediately after he was sentenced to at least a decade in prison on a murder conspiracy charge.

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Cassandre LaFortune, dressed in a white gown, listened to Akram “Ish” Jones enter his Alford plea Tuesday. She then stepped forward to marry him.

When the judge asked her if she knew what she was getting into, Jones politely interrupted and said, “Your honor, I don’t mean to be rude, but she proposed to me.”

Jones was wearing a gray suit, tie and shackles on his wrists and ankles, which sheriff's deputies removed before the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony, the newlyweds posed for photos with the 17 family members in attendance, including the couple’s mothers and Jones’ 4-year-old son.

Jones, 26, entered the Alford plea, in which he did not admit guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him, on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in state prison for plotting to kill Terrance M. Maxie.

On Oct. 4, 2000, Jones and two other men allegedly planned to kill Maxie at a South Coatesville bar, but failed when Jones shot himself in the hand before they could try. Maxie, 27, was shot in the back as he left the same bar nine days later, allegedly by the other two men.

Jones also pleaded guilty in two other pending cases — one for assaulting another prisoner, the other a riot charge resulting from an inmate uprising at Chester County Prison. Sentences for those crimes will be served concurrently.

LaFortune said she and Jones had been dating for seven years. She plans to move close to whichever state prison he is assigned to.

Defense attorney Brenda L. Jones said her client asked for the wedding to take place after he entered the pleas.

“He really loves her,” she said. “Despite the charges, he's really not a bad person. He just got caught up in it.”

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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